School zone penalties made tougher
By JANE GARDNER
A COMMON driving mistake will now cost you a whole lot more.
Motorists caught breaking the law in school zones face a painful slap on the wrist in the form of bigger fines and more demerit points.
From yesterday, anyone caught exceeding the 40km/h speed limit during designated times will receive a $128 fine and lose four demerit points.
For the first time, double parking in a school zone and stopping in a bus zone in a school zone will attract two demerit points and increased fines from $179 to $231.
The fine for disobeying a hand-held stop sign at a children's crossing increases from $308 to $384, while the demerit points for the offence increase from three to four.
According to Senior Sergeant Glenn Trubody, Northern Region traffic co-ordinator, citing ignorance of school zone times because you don't have kids is not an excuse. "School holiday times are very well advertised," he said. "It is not an excuse at all for speeding through a school zone. All you have to do is look around to know it's holidays."
Snr Sgt Trubody said law-breaking in school zones was a continual source of frustration for police and he hoped the tougher penalties would discourage ignorant behaviour.
"We are still getting many complaints from schools and other motorists about people parking in school zones and ignoring the 40km/h signs," he said.
"It is a very dangerous practice and could result in a serious crash or a child getting injured. Once people start getting issued with these infringements, and they are pretty big, I think they will begin to get the message."